At least that is how it feels. We had only 1 appointment--our annual physical check-up. We knew that meant we would have to get some blood tests done. That always happens. But now it seems like things are really out of control. Since our primary care doctor is a member of a cardiology office, they do a electrocardiogram each year. Well, it seems one little irregularity in that squiggly line means something. Our doctor came in and said, "John, I've got bad news for you." They call it afib--atrial fibrillation. That has resulted in 8 more appointments for John. Yikes!
From what we have read so far, that isn't too unusual when you are 'our age.' It seems everything becomes more prevalent after the age of 65. The main issue seems to be the greatly increased risk for a stroke. The first of those 8 appointments was with a cardiologist--really her physician's assistant. It led to a prescription for a blood thinner. A baby aspirin no longer does the trick.
Still to come are an echo cardiogram, wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours, a 4-hour stress test, an ultrasound of the carotid artery and an abdominal aortic scan. Then, of course, there is a follow-up appointment to go over those blood tests and another to look at all the heart tests.
What ever happened to the days when we could spend all morning in the pottery shop or wood shop? When we could hike whenever we felt like it? When we had free time and were really retired? I guess those opportunities flew away just like the years have. We have lived nearly 74 years. Where did all that time go?
On the positive side of all this, we are grateful we have a primary care doctor who discovered the issue, we have excellent medical testing facilities and care facilities nearby, and we have really good Medicare supplemental insurance, thanks to the Episcopal Church Medical Trust.
At the end of the appointment at the cardiologist's office, we were nearly overwhelmed with doctor's appointments and with questions. Now it is just an inconvenience. And our goal--and that of the doctors, I am sure, is to see it is only an inconvenience for as long as possible.
And all the while John says, "but I feel just fine!"